Washington (AP) — as Russia shells Ukraine This week, military observers have been wondering about the number and types of missiles Russia still has in its arsenal. In other words, how long can the Kremlin sustain its barrage?
Some analysts say Russia may be depleting its stockpile of long-range precision weapons as the war, which lasted nearly eight months, has dragged on and hurt its economy, forcing it to rely on less accurate missiles. I believe there is.
It remains unclear whether Russia has enough weapons to continue its offensive against Ukraine with the same intensity it began after. The 8 October explosion at the Kerch Bridge Crimea annexed to Moscow.
Let’s take a look at what is known and what is not known about Russian weapons.
what does russia say?
Russian officials say the military has ample stockpiles of long-range missiles and factories are producing more, denying Western claims that supplies are shrinking.
The Russian military has not disclosed how many missiles it has launched and how many remain, and it has no data to independently assess the state of Russia’s arsenal.
President Vladimir Putin recently chaired a conference discussing plans to boost arms production, but he declined to elaborate on televised introductory remarks.
What does Russia rely on these days?
when Russian military launches missile strikes across Ukraine Since Monday, it has used the full range of long-range precision weapons, including strategic bomber-launched Kh-55 and Kh-101 cruise missiles, sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles, and ground-launched Iskander missiles.
The Russian military has also repeatedly used the S-300 surface-to-air defense missile system to attack ground targets, which some observers saw as a sign of Russia’s arms shortage.
Russia’s diversion of air defense systems and anti-ship missiles suggests it lacks more advanced missiles aimed at hitting ground targets, said Washington-based Strategic International. said Ian Williams, a Fellow at the Institute for Problems.
Strikes from Russia’s S-300 air defense system “do not have the ‘vigor’ to actually hit hardened military targets, nor the accuracy in a land-attack role to hit buildings they want to attack.” said Williams. Said. “This is really just throwing them into the ether and seeing where they land.”
However, their use has been limited by a large stockpile of older subtypes of such missiles that have been superseded by more advanced air defense weapons, and by the military’s willingness to retain more expensive and advanced long-range missiles for priority targets. can be explained by the desire of
The numbers are hard to come by, but they tell the story of how Russia uses its weapons. Recent attacks in Mykolaiv used surface-to-air missiles to hit ground targets.
Douglas Barry, senior fellow for military aerospace at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, called this “a sure sign that missile inventories are running low.”
what is Washington saying?
While the Biden administration believes it has evidence that Russia has exhausted its most efficient stockpile of weapons, U.S. officials say the recent barrage of civilian areas in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities has led to Moscow said there was no indication that they were ready or willing to pardon.
What the US thought Russia might have left behind was not immediately clear. However, two officials said U.S. government analysts had noted with interest Russia’s use of cruise missiles in the aftermath of the Kerch bridge explosion.
Officials said the choice could indicate that Russia is short of cheap, reliable medium-range weapons and is struggling to replenish its stockpile due to sanctions and supply chain disruptions. .
The relative calm Kyiv enjoyed before the Kerch Bridge incident helped Russia conserve its limited resources, according to the sources, who asked not to be named to discuss internal assessments of Russia’s military strength. It may have been a sign that
What is behind target selection?
Massive launches of inaccurate missiles may be intended to clutter air defense systems, with Russia using its best missiles for high-value targets and critical infrastructure.
But Williams suggested that Moscow may also be aware of the barrage and act strategically. Attacks civilian targets in hopes of causing panic in Ukraine and urged Kyiv to accept a ceasefire in favor of Russia.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that cruelty is the point, as they say,” he said.
Contributed by Tara Copp of Washington.
Follow AP’s coverage of the war. https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine